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History of The 
St. Regis Akwesasne Mohawks 


Illustrations by the Author 

■ •- ' ' 


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Queen's University 


Dorothy M. Sliter, 1996 

Kingston, Ontario, Canada 


Queen's University at Kingston 

History of The 
St. Regis Akwesasne Mohawks 


Illustrations by the Author 

Nothing contained herein may be used in whole or in part 
without written permission from the author. 
Printed in Malone, N. Y., by Lanctot Printing Snop 


We, the Akwesasne Mohawk Counselor Organization, dedicate this pamphlet, "His- 
tory of the St. Regis Akwesasne Mohawks," to our elder brother and Seneca friend, 
Gawaso Wanneh or Dr. Arthur C. Parker. We are grateful to Gawaso Wanneh for the 
good work that he has done toward the betterment of the young people of the Six 
Nations. We ask our great Creator to send us more leaders such as Dr. Arthur C. 
Parker, a warrior who has won honor and respect for our people and from every part 
of the world. 


Arthur Parker conies from a long' line of famous Seneca leaders and men 
of note. Red Jacket., famous Seneca orator was the clan grandfather of Mr. 
Parker's great-grandmother. Mr. Parker's g"reat-grandf ather, William Parker of 
the Tonawanda Senecas, was a descendant of Old King" or Sayenqueraughta, 
famous warrior of the Revolutionary War. William Parker or Jis-g'e-gee was a 
veteran of the War of 1812. General Eli S. Parker who was General Grant s 
right hand man during" the Civil War is the grandfather of Gawaso Wanneh. 
To tell of the complete life of Dr. Arthur Parker and of his many accomplish- 
ments would take a volume in itself. Marion E. Gridley, Secretary of the 
Indian Council Fire and author of, "Indians of Today" has given Aren Akweks 
permission to print here her description of the achievements of this famous 
Indian, Dr. Arthur C. Parker :- 


Long known as "the fighting friend of the Indians," Arthur C. Parker is the 
director of the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences (New York). After his train- 
ing in anthropology under Professor Frederic W. Putnam, he engaged in newspaper 
work in New York City for awhile. In 1903 he accepted a joint position as field 
archeologist for the Peabody Museum of American Archeology and Ethnology. In 1904 
he became ethnologist for the New York State Library and the following year entered 
the services of the New York State Museum as State Archeologist until 1925. In this 
capacity he created the anthropological division, acquiring more than one hundred 
thousand specimens and establishing the largest habitat groups depicting Indian life 
in America. (He ranks as the leading American authority on the aboriginal peoples of 
New York State). During this same period he held many honorary positions with the 
state government, serving as secretary cf the New York State Indian Commission; 
member, State Board of Geographic Names; representative, State Council of Parks; 
inspector for the adjutant general; member, medical inspection Board, Albany County. 
Much of his interest has centered about Indian life and history. His knowledge of 
Indian affairs brought invitations to serve as consultant on these matters from several 
governors and Presidents Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, and Coolidge. He has presided as 
Chairman of many notable conferences on Indian affairs, including the Philadelphia 
conference (1917) and the Committee of One Hundred, Acting as one of the organ- 
izers of the Society of American Indians, he was its first executive secretary (1911- 
14) and later became president. For this organization he founded and edited the 
American Indian Magazine. A member of many honorary and scientific societies, he has 
founded several organizations with related interests, including the New York State 
Archeological Ass'n; (President, 1935). Organization affiliations number the New York 
State Historical Association (Trustee) ; Society for American Archeology (President) ; 
Eastern States Archeological Federation (Research Director); National I Research 
Council, Archeological Division; American Ass'n. for the Advancement of Science 
(Fellow); American Ethnological Society; American Ass'n. of Museums (Vice Presid- 
ent); Six Nations Ass'n; Indian Council Fire; Society of University Indians of America; 
as well as about twenty local scientific and historical societies. He is also a member of 


the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and Chairman oi the Indian Lore 
Committee of the National Court of Honor. As an author he has written about 238 
books, articles and pamphlets, including 10 scientific books dealing with American Indian 
anthropology; several books for children; and "A Manual For History Museums," spon- 
sored by the Carnegie Foundation. Many of his writings have been translated in foreign 
languages, including French and Russian. He enjoys an international reputation 
throughout the museum world, and is often consulted by educational authorities and 
museum men from all parts of the world. Establishing a museum extention service in 
1929, he developed a plan for illustrating the school curriculum by means of objects. An 
investigation by the Bureau of Municipal Research showed that pupils using the Parker 
Method passed examinations by a higher rating of ten per cent. Instances of use in the 
Rochester area totalled more than five million (1934). It is because of this success that 
foreign ministers of education are going to Rochester for a first hand examination of 
the plan. j\/ r . Parher asserts that his educational methods are patterned aftei 
the Indian system of natural teaching. His masonic writings are well known, and 
led to his election as one of the forty immortals of the Philalethes, a group of dist- 
inguished writers of which the late Rudyard Kipling was one. He has been honored by 
all the concordant orders and holds both the 33rd degree and knighthood in the Royal 
Order of Scotland. He spends as much of his time as possible on the adjacent New York 
i eservations, and is a member of several of the tribal esoteric societies. It was his 
knowledge of their needs that led him to establish as a relief measure the Indian Arts 
Project by which the Indians will be enabled to reestablish their ancient crafts. He has 
been President of the New York State Indian Welfare Society, and has served with 
many boards and committees in behalf of the New York State Indians. He is the recog- 
nized founder of American Indian Day (1914) and led the first observances in New 
York, personally taking the proclamation to the Governor for signature. Biographies 
of Arthur Parker are found in many books, including the National Encyclopedia of 
America Biography; Who's Who in America; Leaders in Education; Who's Who in 
Education; Who's Who in New York; Who's Who in the East; Who's Who in Mason- 
ry; Register of American Families. Mr. Parker, who holds a Master of Science degree 
from Rochester University, founded the Museum of which he is director, creating and 
developing its various divisions and procuring, for it, world wide recognition. The 
fourth Indian Achievement Medal of the Indian Council Fire was awarded to him in 

Thus the above, is the record of an Indian, a Six Nation Indian, one of our own 
people. His life and achievements should be a shining example of what an Indian can 
do. The leaders of the Akwesasne Counselor Organization point with pride to a 
statement made by this great man (Jan. 17, 1945) - "Please convey my cordial greet- 
ings and best wishes to the Akwesasne Counselor Organization. It is the finest group 
cf young people on any reservation that I know." Coming from Gawaso Wanneh, this 
Statement means something. 


You will recall the words of the Requickening Address at the raising of Hodiyaner, 
wherein the Sachem sings: 

'Woe. Woe! Hearken ye! We are diminished. Woe. Woe! 

The cleared land has become a thicket - Woe, Woe! 

That was the wail of the olden day, but a new day has come even to the People of the 
Long House, and it is better to chant: 

"Rejoice and Hearken ye! We have endured! Rejoice, rejoice! 
The thicket has become cleared land - Rejoice, rejoice! 

We, the People of the Great League have no time for mourning now, for the Past 
has gone beyond recovery. The Present is here and the future awaits our preparation. 
A new responsibility has come and with it Opportunity. 

'Tis well to remember the precepts of the ancient day, but it also well to open our 
eyes to the New Era in which we live today! Mind and spirit must be implemented for 
the world's endeavor as never before. The future rules us now. The Long House of old 
was as strong as its individual timbers, and endured the storm of time because each 
was strong. Today in order to weather the whirlwind of civilization the character and 
intelligence of each one of us must stand the test-even as our warriors of gone-by cent- 
uries were stalwart, brave and noble of mind. 

Have courage, be strong! No longer are we only of a tribe, a nation, a race but of 
Humanity. Our highest Rights now are to be secured by the full performance of every 
duty that falls upon us as citizens of One World wherein all men are brothers. In the 
march of man into the Sun of Destiny you and I as members of the Great League can- 
not lag behind when Duty calls. Our mettle is under test by an appraising world. This 
is our challenge, Mohawks! We cannot forget our heritage; it calls upon us to live as 
Dekanawidah would have had us live beneath the Tree of Peace and obedient to the 

Only by this ancient wisdom will Rawenio give us the victory. Let us highly resolve 
that we shall press forward to win a new place among the nations of the earth and then 
unite with them as members of the common Brotherhood of Man. 

Da-nehoh! GAWASO - WANNEH 




By Aran Akweks 

The Mohawks were a branch of the great Iroquois Confederacy. They were called 
Ka-niri-ke-a-ka in their own language. The French called them Caniegas. The English 
called them Mohawks. There were in early days several other Indian nations in and 
around New York State who were related by blcod to the Mohawks. The Hurons settled 
near Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe. just north of Lake Erie was an Iroquoian tribe 
called Tionontati or the Tobacco Nation. The Neutral or Neutar Nation lived along 
the Niagara frontier, In south eastern Virginia lived the Nottoway Indians. Near them 
lived the Meherrin People. The Erie Indians dwelt south of Lake Erie. East of the 
Erie Nation in what is now south western New York State lived the Wenro Band. 
Along the Susquehanna River lived the Susquehannocks or Andastes. In North Carolina 
two Iroquoian Nations built their towns. They were the Cherokee and the Tuscarora 
People. In New York State from east to west lived the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, 
Cayugas, and Senecas. All of these nations were b!ocd-related and in the distant past 
had lived as one family west toward the setting sun. Tradition says that they at one 
time lived in the great Mississippi Valley and were allies of the Wolf or Pawnee Nation 
but for some unknown reason had migrated east and had become divided. 

The first contact that the white man had with the Iroquois was in 1535 when 
Jacques Cartier made his exploration of the St. Lawrence River in search of a pass- 
age to India and China. Everywhere Cartier found friendly natives and by them he was 
received in the kindest manner. At the Rock of Quebec he found an Iroquois Village 
called Stadacona. On th Isle of Montreal he visited another Iroquois Town callec 
Hochelaga. There he was royally entertained by a Mohawk chief. When Cartier return- 
ed to France he took with him as his prisoner this Mohawk chief who had treated him 
with such hospitality and kindness. 

The Mohawks and other Irouois tribes were driven from the St. Lawrence Valley 
by a powerful Algonquin tribe called the Adirondacks. They sought refuge in the land 
to the south .The Mohawks settled along the banks of the Mohawk River. West of 
them near Oneida Lake moved the Oneidas. The Onondaga Nation settled near Onon- 
daga Lake. Along Canandaigua Lake the Senecas built their towns and east of them 
on Lake Cayuga burned the council fire of the Cayuga Nation. Thus central New York 
came to be the home of th Five Iroquois Nations. 


Members of the 

at Camp Latonka in the Adirondack Mountains 
Head Chief - Julius Cook 

When the Iroquois first came to New York State it was during a time of great 
warfare. They built their towns far back in the hills away from the main rivers. They 
did this because there was less danger from war parties of their enemies. All of these 
early towns were surrounded by high log stockades for protection against enemy war 
parties. Later when they had multiplied and had gained strength they moved their vil- 
lages to the fertile river valleys. 

Soon after the Five Nations had settled in New York State bitter wars broke out 
between the Senecas and Cayugas on one side and the Mohawks, Oneidas and Onon- 
dagas on the other side. The Mahikans living along the Hudson River, the Huron© 
north of the Great Lakes, the Susquehannocks of Pennsylvania and the Eries of the 
west, at the same time, sent many war parties against the Five dis-united Iroquois 
Nations. The Iroquois were in great danger of complete extermination. 

About this time two wise men, Deganahwideh, a Huron and Hiawatha, an Onon- 
daga, sought refuge among the Mohawks. They were adopted by the Mohawks and be- 
came sachems of that nation. For five years these two wise men labored to bring about 
peace between the Five Nations. Finally the Five Iroquois Nations, Mohawks, Oneidas, 
Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas agreed to bury their differences and join into a Lea- 
gue of Peace. Thus came about the Iroquois Confederacy which in time made the Five 
Nations masters of a territory larger than the whole of Europe. This territory stretched! 
from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from Hudson Bay to North Caro- 

In 1609 Samuel de Champlain and two other Frenchmen, accompanying a war 
party of Ottawa and Huron Indians, met a party of Mohawks near a spot where Fort 



M |f II * i 



Scoutmaster - Mrs. Grace Morin Patrol Leaders - Darline Jacobs and Edna Lazore 

Assistant - Mrs. Helen B. Murray 

Ticonderoga now stands. The two parties agreed to fight on the following day. The 
bows and arrows of the Mohawks were no match for the guns of the Frenchmen. Three 
of the Mohawk chiefs fell at the first fire. It was the first time that the Iroquois had 
ever heard the roar of a gun and the thundering sound, as well as the appearance of a 
strange people with white skins and hairy faces, confused them and they fled to the 
forest. Though this was a victory for the Frenchman it caused in the hearts of the 
Iroguois a deadly hatred for the French. This hatred lasted a century and a half and in 
the end it caused the downfall of the French colonies in the new world. 

In 1615, Champlain with a war party of Huron and Algonquin Indians again enter- 
ed the Iroquois Country. Their plan was to invade the entire Iroquois Country and to 
exterminate them. Near Nichols Pond the party discovered a strongly fortified village 
of Oneidas. They were unsuccessful in destroying this village and their expedition was a 
failure. Champlain was wounded and had to be carried home in a basket. This battle 
showed the Iroquois that the white man with his thunder stick could be conquered. It 
also increased the hatred that the Iroquois had for the French. 

In 1609 Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River. There he came in contact with 
Mahikans and other friendly Indian tribes. The Dutch, five years later, built a trading 
post near where Albany now stands. In 1618 the Dutch made a treaty with the Iroquois. 
This "Chain of Friendship" between the Dutch and the Mohawks was later taken over 
by the English and has lasted to the present day. From the Dutch, the Mohawks and 
other Iroquois secured firearms and with these brought terror to the hearts of the 
French and those Indians who were allies of them. Up until twenty-four years aftei 
Champlain had killed the three Mohawk chiefs the Iroquois had not tried to kill any 
Frenchmen though many Iroquois had been slain by the French. Patiently they had 
waited to avenge their slain brothers. Now that they had secured firearms, they felt 
strong enough to revenge the insults of Champlain and his people. They turned on the 
French and their allies and one by one they exterminated those nations who had aided 
the French. The Algonquins from Lake Nipissing to Saguenay, the Hurons, the Nipis- 
sings, the Ottawas, the Adirondacks, the Tiontati, the Supuehannocks, the Miamis, the 
Illinois, the Delawares and others who had aided the French or who had refused t<? 
cease warfare and to grasp the Tree of Peace of the Iroquois Confederacy were ex 
termined and their remnants adopted into the ranks of the Five Nations. 



"Mohawk Busy Bees" - "Mohawk Chiefs" - "The Bear To Club" 

Presidents - Dennis Terrance, Raymond and Arnold Jock 

Manager - Mr. Jerry Normile 

The French colonies depended upon the fur trade for their existance. The war 
parties of the Iroquois practically put an end to all French fur trade. The Iroquois 
invaded the Island of Montreal and had wiped out every Frenchman in the entire colony 
who had not secured protection in the fort at the time. 

During the wars in Europe between the French and the English these two nations 
who had colonies in America spared no effort to get the different Indian nations in 
America to fight against their rivals in the New World. Both the French and the Eng- 
lish desired the fur trade of the Iroquois and other Indian nations. Both the French 
and the English cast greedy eyes on the lands of the Iroquois. Both claimed the Iro- 
quois Country as their own. The Iroquois never admitted that either the French or the 
English had any claim over them or their country. The English governor encouraged 
the Five Nations to attack the French and their Indian allies. The French likewise en- 
couraged the Hurons, Eries and other Indian nations to attack thhe English and the 
Iroquois. The unfortunate Iroquois whose Confederacy had been formed to bring about 
peace tried in vain to get the French and the English to cease warfare and invited them 
to take shelter under their Tree of Peace. Their efforts were in vain. The Five Nations 
living between these two rival white colonies realized that they were being used as tools 
and during all of the wars between the French and the English they, the Iroquois, were 
the main ones to suffer. Because of the wars between the white men they, the Five 
Nation Iroquois, as a people, were to dwindle to less than half of their original number. 
Yet they stuck to their treaty with the English and, after their vain attempt at peace, 
continued to spread terror among the French until that people were defeated. 

France realized that if she were to keep her colonies in the New World she must 
somehow get the Iroquois away from British influence. During the Treaty of 1666 
France took advantage of the period of peace. Jesuit missionaries were sent among 
the Mohawks and other Iroquois Nations. In 1667 three Jesuit missionaries, Jacques 
Fremin, Jean Pierron and Jacques Bruyas visited the Mohawks. They preached at 
the Mohawk Village Kahnawaki. Julien Gamier, Pierre Milet and Etienne de Carheil 
preached in other Iroquois villages. Up until this time all Jesuit missionaries among 
the Iroquois had met with failure and sometimes death. By 1668 all of the Five Nations 
had Jesuit missionaries. The Jesuits encouraged the Iroquois to leave their homelands 
and establish a reservation just outside of Montreal. 



(Massena Athletic Association League) 
Manager - Mrs. Irma Smoke 

In 1667 an Oneida Indian, Tonsohoten, and five others were baptized and were 
persuaded to settle at Laprairie on the St. Lawrence River across froin Montreal. Fol- 
lowing this many converts began to leave their villages along the Mohawk. At La- 
prairie the Indian Mission of St. Francis Xavier was founded. By 1670 twenty Indian 
families had settled there. Father Philippi Pierson was sent as an assistant. In 1671 
Father Jacques Fremin took his place. The migrant Iroquois were placed under the 
guardianship of the Jesuit Society. The Jesuits, anxious for the welfare of their con- 
verts, tried to stem the liquor traffic which the officals of the West India Company en- 
couraged among the Mohawks and other Indians. Their reason for encouraging strong 
drink was to make it easier to swindle the Indians out of their furs and other products. 
Fremin, especially, tried to check this curse which was draining the life blood of the 
Iroquois. Meanwhile more and more Iroquois migrated to Canada. In less than seven 
years there were more Mohawk converts at Laprairie than in their own country along 
the Mohawk River. The Mohawks were not the only Indians who settled at Laprairie. 
According to the old Jesuit records there was at one time over twenty two Indian 
nations represented at Laprairie. Of these the Mohawks were the majority. The On»- 
ondagas and Hurons were next. 

Through a quarrel over chiefs the Hurons separated themselves from the others 
and started a new mission beyond the river. This mission was founded by the Sul- 
picians in 1676 at the foot of Mount Royal. It was made up of Iroquois and Algonquin 
converts. When the Huron converts from Laprairie joined them it grew rapidly. In 
twenty years another division was made. Two hundred Indians went to live at Sault 
au Recollet. In 1704 a second divison took place. The Iroquois remained at Mount Royal 
and Sault au Recollet, while the Algonquins went to Baied Urfe. A number of Nipis- 
sings migrated to Isle Aux Tourtes at the foot of Two Mountains. In 1721 the Sul- 
picians brought these tribes together and formed a large mission at Oka. 

Gandeakteua, an Erie woman and the wife of Tonsohoten, one of the first con- 
verts, was a famous Indian woman of this period of Iroquois migration. It is said that 
she was a very pious person and a model of virtue. Her cabin was a home to all and by 
her influence many were co"erted. It was she who helped in 1671, Father Fremin and 
Father Pierson found the Sodality of the Holy Family, an organization still flourishing 
after two hundred years. It is said that she had the reputation of a saint. 

A famous Mohawk warrior of this period was Athasata or Kryn, the great Mo- 
hawk. It was he who, during August 1669, led the Mohawks against the Mahikans and 



Scoutmaster - Ray Fadden 
Assistants - Bill Cook and Solomon Cook 

defeated them. While visiting Laprairie he became converted. Because of his influence, 
a band of forty men, women and children under Father Boniface left the Mohawk 
River and settled at Laprairie. 

Meanwhile liquor and mixed blood from the traders across the river were having 
their bad affect on the Mohawks of Laprairie in spite of all the missionaries could do. 
Because of this in July 1776 Father Fremin and the Mohawks bid farewell to kentake 
or Laprairie and moved to the foot of the Rapids. The new mission was called Kahn- 
awake or St. Xavier of the Sault. In 1673 the Hurons for the same reason moved to 

Another famous Indian woman of this period was Kateri Tekakwitha who was 
born in 1656. She was eleven years old when Father Fremin, Bruyas and Pierron visit- 
ed her village of Kahnawake on the Mohawk River. In 1675 she was baptized. In 1677 
she moved to Laprairie. Her entire life was one of purity and holiness and her remains 
in the Caughnawaga Church have at various times worked many cures and miracles 
for those who have had faith. 

In 1678 the dread white man's disease, smallpox, struck the Indian village and 
many died. On August 20, 1683 another catastrophe hit the new settement. Their church 
caved in. But the main trouble of the convert Iroquois was the constant quarrels and 
wars between the French and the English who were unwilling to leave the Indians out 
of their disputes. Not only the French of Canada but the English along the Hudson 
valued the fur trade. Neither side had any scruples over using the Iroquois when it 
suited their purpose. The colonial fur traders, both French and English, generally des- 
pised the Indians and treated them little better than the animals of the forest. Their 
chief aim and use of the Indian was of commerical value only, to gather pelts or scalps, 
a custom that they introduced to many Indian tribes. The Indians were often cheated 
out of their furs. In many instances they were fed liquor until they lost their reason, 
were slain and their furs stolen. It was against these unscrupulous traders that the 
missionaries had their greatest trouble. 


Col. Dongan, Governor of New York, made many efforts to alienate the Christian 
Iroquois from the French. He spread word among the Five Nations of New York 
State that the new French Governor, De Denonville was planning to exterminate them. 
In 1686, De Denonville asked the Onondaga missionaries to have a delegation of Iroq- 
uois chiefs meet him in council. Forty chiefs, laden with gifts, were seized by orders of 
the French governor, were bound and taken to Quebec where they were condemned to 
work as slaves in Europe. This act of treachery hurt all missions and endangered the 
lives of all missionaries working among the Iroquois. In anger they returned to their 
old homes along the Mohawk. 

In 1690, to again get away from the evil influence across the river, the convert 
Mohawks moved their village to a new site farther west. They called it Kahnawakon. 

Meanwhile the French and English were agaain at war. Behind the Iroquois who 
had remained at home in their home territory were the English colonial officals urg- 
ing the Iroquois on to attack the French. Even when the Five Nations were tired of 
\var the colonial officials sent three deputies to persuade them not to make peace or to 
consent to an armistice but to continue to fight the French and their Indians. In 1691 
Major Peter Schuyler descended Lake Champlain and attacked Fort Laprairie. He was 
defeated by the Mohawks of Kahnawakon who came to the rescue of the French army. 
Frontenac, the French Governor, tried very hard to get the Christian Mohawks to kill 
those Mohawks who had accompanied Schuyler. 

The Mohawk Indians both along the St. Lawrence River and along the Mohawk 
River desired peace and were willing to keep the peace and to trade with both the 
French and the English. They claimed independence of both. The English tried to get 
the Mohawks from along the Mohawk River to fight against their brothers who had 
their village on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. The French tried to get the St. 
Lawrence Mohawks to fight against their brothers living along the Mohawk River. The 
white men were foolish to hope that they could get the Mohawks to fight against their 
own countrymen. 

In 1696 there was a third transfer of the Mission of St. Francis Xavier to the new 
Indian village of Kahnawake opposite Devils Island. 

In 1716 a few Mohawks migrated to a new village site (Caughnawaga) which was 
three miles west of La Susanne along the river front on land that had been added to 
the original grant of 1680. The abandoned village from which they had moved was 
ever afterward called Kanatakwenke or "Where the village was Taken From.'* 

Father Hue Francois Nou who was welcomed at Caughnawaga in 1735 wrote, 
"Generally speaking, you could find nowhere finer looking men. They are better built 
than the French, while side by side with the Iroquois, other Indians seemed dwarfed." 
Paul Ragueneau in the Relation of 1650 wrote, "It is customary with these people 
that when refugees seek cover among strangers, their hosts distribute them among 
the different cabins. They give them not only lodging but food as well." Again he 
writes, "I have often seen this hospitality practiced among the Hurons, when seven 
or eight hundred fugitives would find, from the moment they arrived benevolent enter- 
tainers who stretched out their arms to them and joyfully came to their assistance." 

At the same period the English Governor, Hon. Gadwallader Colden wrote of the 
Five Nations of New York State, "None of the greatest Roman heroes have discover 
ed greater love for their country, or a greater contempt of death than these people 
have done, when liberty came in competition. I think our Indians have outdone the 
Romans in this particular; some of the greatest of those have we known murdered 
themselves to avoid shame and torments; but our Indians have refused to die meanly, 
or with little pain, when they thought their country's honour would be at stake by it; 
but have given their bodies, willingly, to the most cruel torments of their enemies, to 
shew, as they said, that the Five Nations consisted of men, whose courage and re- 
solution could not be shaken." 

It had been the plan of both the French and the English to secure lands of the 
Indians and to weaken the tribes by urging them to fight against themselves. Be- 
cause of this European practice most ot the Indian tribes were considerably reduced. 



Chairman - Mrs. Mary Cook Vice Chairman - Mrs. Agnes Lazore 

Treas. - Sec. - Mrs. Christine Fadden 

Standing (left to right) Mrs. Bertha Reyome, Mrs. Agnes Lazore, Mrs. Virginia White 

Sitting - Mrs. Christine Fadden, Mrs. Mary Cook 

The chief aim of the French Government was to bring all of the Iroquois into 
closer relations to the French. This would reduce the number of those who might help 
the English. The Indians would also be an advantage to the French colony because 
in time of war the Iroquois would be the watch dogs of the French and would form a 
barrier which would protect Montreal against all raids by the English. Duquesne and 
other French Governors did not hesitate to encourage and even demand that the Caugh- 
nawaga Mohawks should attack those Mohawks who had refused to move to Caugh- 
nawaga near the French settlements. 

Drinking now had become so common among the French Mohawks that their 
brothers along the Mohawk River remarked that rum was as common among their 
praying brethren as among the English Mohawks. It was because of the evil influence 
of the fire-water among the Caughnawaga Mohawks that a band of these people decided 
to leave their village and form a new settlement up the St. Lawrence River. They 
were encouraged by the Jesuit Fathers to make this migration. The Jesuits well knew 
the evil influence of liquor and were the only ones who had sincerely tried to stem the 
evil resulting from the use of it. 

In 1759 a band of Mohawks led by Father Gordan, Superior at Caughnawaga, left 
Caughnawaga and traveling up the St. Lawrence River they formed a new Mohawk 
settlement along its banks. This village was placed under the patronage of St. John 
Francis Regis, a Jesuit of the eighteenth century who had done great work among the 
poor of France. The Caughnawaga Mohawks as a pledge of good will to their depart- 
ing brothers made them a gift of some precious relics among which was the skull and 
some of the bones of their great Mohawk sister, Kateri Tekakwitha, the lily of the Mo- 


5IX NATION 6^ND5 Of '"'I 

S? n e c i l 




IN 1676 

In 1676 a group of Huron Indians visited the Caughnawaga Reservation. As a 
pledge of good will and friendship they left the above wampum belt with the Mohawks. 
This belt means that the Caughnawaga Mohawks must make a strong fight against 
the evil, liquor, which was the cause of the ruin of both the Huron and Caughnawaga 
Missions. It also means that they should be good Christians. This belt now rests in 
the Caughnawaga Mission on the Caughnawaga Reservation, Quebec, Canada. 

hawks. These relics were placed in the new church at St. Regis and were held in grea\t 
veneration by the St. Regis Mohawks. When the old church burned down the sacred 
relics were destroyed. The St. Regis settlement has also been called Akwesasne, The 
Place Where the Partridge Drums. 

After the Treaty of 1763 many of the Mohawks from Caughnawaga moved to the 
Ohio Valley and formed a Mohawk Colony near Sandusky and Scioto. They numbered 
around two hundred at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. 

At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War most of the Mohawks from Caugh- 
nawaga, St. Regis and Oka wanted to remain neutral. Many of them sympathized 
with the Americans. The Indian and especially the Iroquois who always had been a 
free people would lean toward any nation who was fighting for liberty • and equality. 
One band of Mohawks in 1775 acting on their own sent a delegation to General George 
Washington announcing their willingness to aid the Americans. The speech of the 
chiefs of this delegation has been preserved. Rev. Samuel Kirkland, missionary to the 
Oneidas, acted as interpreter. One of the Caughnawaga chiefs arose and said, "I see 
a great war cloud rising in the east. This war cloud may make great trouble and bring, 
much distress upon the Amercan people. Because of this our very souls trouble u?.. 
War is a great evil to a nation and to the people. We Mohawks of Caughnawaga know 
this by sad experince in the war between the English and the French by which the 
French was brought to ruin. We Caughnawagas rejoice to see the Americans have such 
independent spirits as to take up arms and defend their rights and liberties. We believe* 
you will succeed because we believe that God is on your side. But we think that your 
liberty and freedom will be gained at the expense of much blood and great distress up- 
on your people. The King of England is a powerful king or he would never have been 
able to conquer the French of Canada. But we think that the King of Heaven is 
stronger than any earthly king and will defend the oppressed. 

Brother Bostonians, be strong and courageous. Your cause is good. You will as- 
suredly be supported by the Great Spirit above, whose omnipotent arm will defend} 
you and in the end will give you a victory, a victory that v/ill resound through all the 
world. The day of this victory will be a sabbath day to you and your children. It will 
be celebrated with joyful hearts as long as the true American spirit will beat in your 
breasts. Your true Indian friends of the north will do what they can in your favor. 
Indians are born free people. They love liberty, yes, they would wish to live as free as 
the deer in the forests or as the fouls of the air. Brother Bostonians, you are a great 
people and able to meet the King of England on the battlefield. We are feeble compared 
to what we were once. You will, I hope, always remember the old people who were 
once the lords of the soil, but who are now reduced both in number and in strength. 
But the war spirit is still in us. We will do what we can to aid you when the opport- 


+- -I- +- +■ -H ■+■ / v ' 


The Seven Nations was a political union of parts of settlements of Iroquois and 
of Algonquins. The organization was founded and influenced by the Jesuit mission- 
aries. This belt represents the union of the Seven Nations which includes parts of the 
St. Regis and Caughnawaga Mohawks. The crooked line means that their trail was no 
longer straight, that they were crooked having abandoned their Indian ways for the re- 
ligion of the invader. It is a pledge of the Seven Canadian Christianized nations to 
stop their crooked ways and keep an honest peace. This belt of the St. Regis Mohawks 
was given to the Six Nations to mark their submission to the power of the Six Nations 
with a promise of peace. The belt now rests in the State Museum at Albany, New 

unity shall offer, even if it should result in the destruction of our village by the Btritiflh* 
your enemies. Remember Brother Bostonians, the words of your brothers of Caugh- 
nawaga. Never forget that a portion of them are your friends at heart. They pray to 
the Great Spirit that you become a free people, as the Indians, your red brothers." 

Much has been written about the raids of the Mohawks against the American col- 
onies, so much that many are led to think that all of the Mohawks sided with England. 
It is a historical fact that there were many Mohawks as well as other Indian tribes who 
fought for the cause of the Americans. Many of the Caughnawaga and St. Regis Mo- 
hawks as well as part of the Wolf Clan of Mohawks then living in the Mohawk Valley 
served as trustworthy scouts in the American army.The Oneida, Tuscarora, Delaware, 
New England and other Indian tribes also served under General George Washington. 
Nearly one half of the Iroquois served the Patriots in the Revolutionary War. It was a 
Scatchicoke Indian who was Washington's personal bodyguard. Lieut. Nicholas Cusick, 
Tuscarora Indian, was the personal bodyguard of General Layfayette, great French- 
man who aided the Americans. Many other famous Indians made names for them- 
selves by serving the patriots in a cause that they felt was just. It is unfortunate that 
most historians fail to record in their readings for young people the great sacrifice that 
many Indians made in their efforts to protect the Americans. Washington himself 
wrote, "If the Indians had been our enemies instead of our friends, the war would not 
have ended in American independence." It was the Oneida and Tuscarora Indians, 
both Iroquois tribes, who fed Washington's starving army at Valley Forge when the 
white settlers had refused him another grain of corn. 

Certain Mohawks, tired of war, wished to remain neutral in this great quarrel bet- 
ween the White men. One old Chief voiced the thoughts of this group when he said, 
"Once again the white men are fighting among themselves. They are fighting over 
the lands that they took from us. Why should we take sides in their fights? Long agf 
they encouraged us to go to war against our own people. Did they come to help usV 
They gave us weapons and encouraged our tribes to destroy each other. When we 
had become weak and our country was soaked with the blood of our people, they came 
and occupied them. Let the white men alone. Let them destroy each other. Perhaps 
when they have killed each other off, when they have gone, the forests, mountains, 
lakes and rivers which the Great Spirit had given to our fathers, will return to us." 

In the War of 1812 the Caughnawaga and Akwesasne Mohawks, generally speak- 
ing, sympathized with the cause of the Americans, but wished to remain neutral. 
Over six hundred Iroquois warriors fought for the Americans. Attempts on the part of 
the British to get the St. Regis Mohawks to fall upon their white neighbors met with 


J / f m 

i" nil 



This belt was loaned (July 24, 1898) by Chief Running Deer of the St. Regis 
Reservation to a woman named Converse. It is called the Wolf Belt. The two figures 
stand for the Mohawks (Caughnawaga, St. Regis) and the French of Canada. Their 
hands are clasped together in friendship. The seven purple lines represent seven Indian) 
nations. Th white represents the peace path. The path is guarded by the Wolf Clan, 
friends of the French. This St. Regis Belt, property of old Running Deer (Ta-si-da-ia-ri) 
now rests in the New York State Museum at Albany. 

The Caughnawaga and Akwesasne Mohawks have from time beginning been great 
travelers. Their war parties have traveled as far south as Mexico and north beyond 
Hudson Bay. Between 1800 and 1820 bands of Mohawks had reached the western 
prairies. Some crossed the Rocky Mountains as traders. In 1820 many Mohawks went 
to live with the Salish and other far western tribes. Some became part of the Salish 
Nation. Others went down the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon and north to 
the Peace River in Alberta. Mohawks settled and married among the Flatheads, Nez 
Perce and other western tribes and were responsible for the visit of Father De Smet, 
the great Jesuit Missionary who, because of their request, went among the far western 
tribes and worked for their welfare. To this day a band of Mohawks known as Paul's 
Band, numbering around a hundred and fifty live on Michel's Reserve in Alberta, 
Canada. They are grandchildren of Mohawk voyageurs who in 1804 migrated west to 
the Athabasca River and settled. Other Mohawks settled among and mingled with the 
Seneca-Caygua Indians who had migrated to Ohio and from there were driven by the 
white men to the far west to what is now Oklahoma. 

Because of their great endurance, their skill in hunting and trapping, in handling 
a canoe, their knowledge of woodcraft and their powerful physical strength, the Mo- 
hawks were greatly desired as helpers in the fur trade. Mohawks were in constant 
demand by all of the great fur companies. They were found in every expedition through 
and beyond the Great Lakes and to the far north and northwest. Often they would 
be gone for many years. Even today their love of travel and adventure is well known 
and their skill as steel workers has carried them to every part of the world. 

Perhaps one interested in Irouois history will wonder what happened to those 
Mohawks who had been left in the Mohawk Valley, those Mohawks who had not 
migrated to the Jesuit missions in Canada. Their story is one of tragedy. Because of 
their ancient treaty made with the Dutch in 1618 and carried on to the English who 
replaced the Dutch these Mohawks were in a bad position. Anyone who knows any- 
thing of the old Indian Character knows that the Indian has never broke a treaty. His 
word was as good as his bond. Because of this the Mohawks held firmly to the Treaty, 
the Covenant Chain, that bound them to the English. The settlers did not make 
matters any better as they were enroaching more and more on Mohawk country in the 
Mohawk Valley. Though frequently enroached upon and robbed of land, the Mohawks for 
over three hundred years held fast to this treaty of friendship. In no so-called civil- 
ised country can one find a parallel of steadfast faith. When the v/ar broke out the 
Mohawks migrated to Canada. They fought fiercely and unwaveringly upon the side 
of the English because of the peace treaty made many years before. They did not fall 
upon the American settlements because of any love to fight, to kill or to collect money 
for scalps from the British. Behind their furious attacks was something more than 


/ / / 


This belt was made to record the time when the Akwesasne Mohawks (St. Regis) 
were taken back into the Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy, The four lines represent 
rafters to strengthen the framework of a building. The St. Regis Mohawks are as 
rafters to strengthen and act as a prop or brace to the Six Nations and by doing this 
the Six Nations likewise act as rafters to brace to prop up the St. Regis Nation. This 
record belt now rests in the New York State Museum at Albany. 

gain. They were fighting for their homes, their beautiful country along the great river 
that bears their name. Behind their brave struggle was the hope of regaining their 
lich corn fields and their great hunting grounds. They knew that if they lost they 
would become helpless wanderers upon the face of the earth. They expected no mercy 
from the American settlers and had little faith in the word of the English and for 
good reason. Though great promices had been made to them by the English in case the 
English lost, at the close of the war and in the treaty between the two white countries 
the Iroquois were entirely left out of the agreements. It was with great difficulty that 
the great Mohawk, Captain Joseph Brant or Thayendanegea secured lands for his 
people along the banks of the Grand River. Those Irouois who had remained in the 
Mohawk Valley migrated to this new land now called, Six Nation Lands near Dhswe- 
ken. Some settled on the Deseronto Reservation, Ontario, Canada. 


In 1749 Francis Picquet, a Sulpitian, tried to draw the Iroquois away from the 
English. He formed a settlement, a missionary station, and built a fort near the mouth 
of the Oswegatchie River. Indian Point in Lisbon about three miles below Ogdens- 
burg was the site of this Oswegatchie Indian Village, In 1806 New York State took 
over the lands of these Indians and forced them to move away. The remnants of the 
Oswegatchies went to live among the St. Regis and Onondaga Indians. 



The Seven Nations was a political union of parts of certain settlements of 
Iroquois who had left New York State and of Algonquins whom the Catholic mission- 
aries had christianized and influenced. The reservations that made up the so-calxd 
Seven Nations were as follows; 

(1) Mohawk Band at Lake of Two Mountains 

(2) Algonquin Band at Lake of Two Mountains 
(2) Nipissing Band at Lake of Two Mountains 
(4) Part of the Caughnawaga Band 

<5) Oswegatchie Band 

(6) Hurons of Lcrett 

(7) Abenekis of St. Francis 

After the break up of the Ccwegatchie Band it was decided that trie St. Regis 
Band would take their place. Not all of the followers of any of these reservations claim- 
ed to belong to the Seven Nations. Generally speaking, as it most Democratic countries, 
most reservations have several factions. A certain group, very small, on the St. Regis 
Reservation claim to belong to the Seven Nations. Their chiefs sit in council and dis- 
ease the affairs of the nation. They claim to be the lawful chiefs. 



Organized in 1929 by Chief Alex White, this organization has made a remarkable 
record. The club work included dairy projects, gardening, and home making for girls. 
Exhibits have been made at several places including Malone, Gouverneur and State Fair. 
Honors have been won by many including two Mohawks picked as State delegates to 
National Convention in Chicago. Each year the club sent four delegates to State 4-H 
Convention at Cornwell University. At the County Achievement Day in 1935 the Mo- 
hawks took second place and received a trophy for their float in the parade. Fifty clubs 
were represented in this parade. The club took third place in the St. Lawrence County 
Dramatic Contest in 1938. One year members of the club planted over 5,000 pine trees 
on the reservation. When the N. Y. S. Fair was discontinued, because of the war, the 
club disbanded but expects to be reorganized again this coming year. 



The Life Chief System was founded in 1749 by Rev. M. Picquet. He established 
a council of twelve elders. The system differs from the old Five Nation Confederate 
System in that a chief's eldest son becomes chief when his father dies whereas in the 
Indian system a chief's son, does not belong to his father's clan but to his mother's 
clan. Therefore, he could never be a chief of his father's clan. The Twelve Chief System 
is largely patterned after the old French Noble System, as it was in France at the 
time of Picquit. Up until March 26, 1802, both sides of the International Line at St. 
Regis had been as one and in their internal affairs were governed by the twelve chiefs. 
These elders must be approved by the clan and they held office through life. Before 
1802 all annuities were divided among the whole people from, both governments, United 
States and Canada. There is a certain faction on tne St. Regis Reservation who be- 
long to this system and the twelve chiefs still sit in council and discuss problems of 
their nation. They claim to be the lawful chiefs. 


On March 26, 1802, the Legislature of the State of New York, for the purpose of 
securing some lands then belonging to the Mohawks and of leasing a ferry over the 
St. Regis River, passed an act appointing three trustees (chiefs) who were given the 
power to make such rules and regulations respecting improvement of the reservation 
as they shall judge necessary. On a certain date each year ,male Indians above the age 


of 21 (women have no vote) choose a clerk and vote for trustees. This system also has 
a following of a certain group. Their chiefs sit in council and discuss problems of the 
nation. They claim to be the lawful chiefs. 


This system patterned after the original Iroquois Government founded by Deg- 
anahwideh and Hiawatha, consists of nine chiefs nominated by the head women of the 
clans, Bear. Wolf and Turtle and approved by the members of these three clans. There 
is also a war-chief who acts as a speaker for any member of the band and who watchea 
the proceedings of the council. These chiefs hold office as long as they maintain good 
behavior and work for the welfare of the nation. They can be replaced by their clani 
mothers who in turn must abide by the rules of the general council of all members, 
male and female, of her particular clan. A certain faction on the St. Regis Reservation 
believe in this system. Their nine chiefs sit in council and discuss the welfare of the! 
nation. They claim to be the lawful chiefs. 


Many nations including modern France fell because of so many factions. Because 
of disunity it was easy for Germany to conquer France. Because there are so many 
factions on the St. Regis Reservation, plus the fact that there are other groups of 
chiefs and systems on the other side of the Canadian boundary line, a line that divided 
a people, it is practically impossible for unity and strength along any line or on any 
project. This dis-unity probably has been the cause of the losing of valuable lands of 
the St. Regis Mohawks. "To divide is to conquer," was an old method used by most 
European nations and disunity may someday in the future be the cause of the death of 
the Akwesasne Mohawks or the whole Six Nations as a people. The only hope of the 
St. Regis Mohawks is to wipe their eyes of the cobweb that blinds them, look back at 
the history of their various factions of chiefs, note which of the several factions produced 
the greatest leaders who sincerely worked for the welfare of their people and under 
whose rule the people were most content, in other words see which rule produced the 
best fruit (This should not be difficult to see) and follow that system with all of their 
hearts. This, along with a good education (absolutely necessary anywhere today) will 
save the Indian people. It is also important to hold the respect of the average white 
person who will respect the Indian if the Indian will respect himself. No person will 
respect a man or woman who tries to drown himself or herself in liquor. No person 
will honestly respect an Indian who has no pride in his race, Who knows nothing of 
his own culture and history. An Iroquois who knows the great history of his people 
will be very careful not to do anything that will bring shame and disgrace to his people. 
And a reservation composed of people who have confidenes & faith in themselves and 
in each other will not die. 


The St. Regis Indians today are divided into the following clans. These clans des- 
cend in a line from mother to children. The clans other than the Bear, Wolf and Turtle 
show intermarriage with Indians from other tribes. 
1st- Okawaho, Wolf Clan 
2nd- Ratiniaten, Big Turtle Clan 
3rd- Okwari, Bear Clan 
4th- Rotinesiio, Snipe Clan 
5th- Rotisennakehti^Little Turtle Clan 

In the village of Hogansburg there is a Methodist mission. In the year 1847-8 Rev. 
Ebenezer Arnold, of the Black River Mission, preached among the St. Regis people 
and interested them in forming a small but flourishing society. The Rev. J. P. Jenn- 
ings was appointed missinary. Through this man and others interested the present 
chapel was erected. 



St. Regis Village - Akwesasne 

St. Regis River - Akwesasne 

St. Regis Reservation - Akwesasne 

Hogansburg - Te-kas-wen-ka-ro-rens (Where they saw boards) 

Malone - Te-kan-o-ta-ron-we (A Village Crossing a River) 

Montreal - Ti-o-ti-a-ke (Deep Waters by the Side of Shallow) 

Black River - Ni-Ka-hi-on-ha-ko-wa (Big River) 

Chateaugay - O-sar-he-hon (A Difficult Place to Get out of) 

Deer River - Ois-ka-ront-ne (Trout River) 

Grass River - Ni-kent-si-a-ke (Full of Big Fishes) 

Gananoqui - Kan-non-no-kwen (Meadow rising out of the water) 

French Creek - A-ten-ha-ra-kweh-ta-re (Place Where the Fense Fell Down) 

Racquette River - Ni-ha-na-wa-te (Rapid River) 

Salmon River - Kent-si-a-ko-wa-ne (Big Fish River) 

Black Lake - Lake-o-tsi-kwa-ke (Where the ash tree grows with large knobs) 

Lake Champlain - Ro-tsi-ich-ni (Coward Spirit) 

Cornwall Island - Ka-wen-o-ko-wa-nen-ne (Big Island) 

Grass Lake - O-sa-ken-ta-ke (Grass Lake) 

Tupper Lake - Tsit-kan-i-a-res-ko-wa (The Biggest Lake) 

Barnhart's Island - Ni-ion-en-hi-a-se-ko-wa-ne (Big Stone) 

Sheiks Island . O-was-ne (Feather Island) 

Isle au Rapid - tiehon-wi-ne-tha (Where a canoe is towed with a rope) 

Isle au Gallop - Tsi-ia-ko-ten-nit-ser-ron-ti-e-tha (Where a canoe must be pushed up. 

stream with poles) 
Baxter's Island. Tsi-io-wen-o-kwa-ka-ra-te (High Island) 
Brasher Falls - Ti-o-hi-on-ho-ken (Where the River divides) 
Brasher Iron Works - Tsit-ka-res-ton-ni (Where they make iron) 
Canada - Ka-na-ta (Village) 
Helena - Oie-ka-ront-ne (Trout River) 
Massena Village - Ni-kent si-a-ke (Full of large fishes) 
Massena Springs - Kan-a-swa-stak-e-ras (Where the Mud smells bad) 
Moira - Sa-ko-ron-ta-keh-tas (Where small trees are carried on the shoulder) 
Norfolk Village - Kan-a-tas-e-ke (New Village) 
Potsdam - Te-wa-ten-e-ta-ren-ies (A place where the gravel settles under the feet in 

dragging up a canoe) 
Quebec - Te-kia-tan-ta-ri-kon ((Twin Mountain) 
Raymondville - Tsi-ia-ko-on-tie-ta (Where they leave the canoe) 
Saratoga - Sa-ra-ta-ke (A place where the track of a heel may be seen) 
Schenectady - Ska-na-ta-ti (Betwwen the Pines) 
Ticonderoga - Tia-on-ta-ro-ken (A fork between two lakes) 
Toronto - Tho-ron-to-hen (Timber on the Water) 
Waddington - Ka-na-ta-ra-ken (White Village) 


(Jay Treaty - Article 3 - par. 3) 

"No duty of entry shall ever be levied by either party or peltries brought by land 
or inland navigation into said territories respectively nor shall the Indians passing or 
repassing with their own proper goods and effects or whatever nature, pay for the 
same any import or duty whatever. But goods in bales or other large packages unusual 
among Indians shall not be considered as goods belonging bona-fide to the Indians." 

This provision of Article III of the Treaty of Commerce between the United States 
and Great Britain; ratified 19th of November, 1799 - signed Wym. A. Richardson (Act- 
ing secretary) 



March 15, 1878 
Referring to your letter of the 11th instant, addressed to the Sec. of the Interior, 
and by leave referred to this Department, in which you ask, in behalf of the Iroquois 
and other Indians in Canada, that they be relieved from all taxes or duties in their 
trade and intercourse with the people of the United Statess; I enclose herewith for 
your information that all Indians are free of duties passing or repassing the boundary 
lines of the United States and Canada, and also free of taxes, license in trading and 
selling beadwork, bark work, baskets, snowshoes, moccasins, medicines, etc. of their 
own manufacture in premises. A copy of Department reply thereto 

I am respectfully 

J. F. Horthey, Assistant 


Six Nation Reserve near Brantford, Ontario 

St. Regis Reserve in New York State and Quebec Province 

Oka or Lake of Two Mountains Reserve, Quebec 

Caughnawaga Reserve on St. Lawrence River, Quebec H 

Deseronto Reserve. Bay of Quinte, Ontario , . / .< '. 

Gibson Band near Georgian Bay, Ontario 

Pauls Band on Michel Reserve, Alberta 


Karithonniennitsera, nonwa wenniserateniron, aonhaa iakoitakenhen ne ithotiiosa. 
Toka karihonnienni ne ononkwehonwe enwaton eto niiotsi enhotiioten tsiniiot ne ratih- 
naraken. Nekati teiotonwentsiohon ne aiethiretsiaron ne iethiienokonah ne ahontewei- 
enste, aseken nee no rahiatonseraienteri neo enhoioten ne kaiotenseranoron. 

Lonkwateriwaienni oni ne aiethiriwawase ne ahonatsteniaronke ne ahonteweienste 
onen kine enwaton n senha watiesen tsi enhatitsenri neensotiioten ne kaiotenseriio. Eto 
oni nentewe akwekon eniokwaiaste takenha ne tionkwehonwe. 

Kennowa kaien, teiotonwentaiohon oni ne onkwehonwe ne aionteweienste ne onk- 
wehonweneha aseken, toka ienoronhkwa tsi iakonkwehonwe iakoriwaien ki ne aionronk- 
hake ne onkwehonweneha. 

Otiake ne ontionkweta ratiweientetas ne rennaraken tsinihawennatens tanon iah 
tehonrankha tsinihatiwennotens ne onkwehonwe. Aetowakweniesleke tosa nonwenton 
aonteriwaton ne onkwehonwenetha tsi tewatatis. 

Keniken kahiatonsera, ionkwaretsiarona ne aetowatatiseke ne tsinitowawennotens, 
tanon watoken natekaron kento enkahiatonke niatekonne kariwiios. 

Nekate aesowathontatseke ne sowakstenhokonah, aietsirihonnien ne nithotiionse ne 
snkwehonweneha, onen kine enwaton enhatiwennahnotaseke tsinahoten enkaiah- 
tonke ne kento. 

Education is best for every boy and girl in these modern times. With an education 
our young people can hold their place in any capacity just the same as any white man. 
We should encourage our children to get all the education they can while they are 
young. We should encourage them to go to school as long as they can because after they 
are out of school it is the boy with the best education and training that gets the best 
and the easiest job. Every boy and girl will have to work some day and if we parents 
can help make it easier for them then we are doing the right thing. We should take 
care of them while they are young and do our best for them then. So let us not dis- 
courage them but encourage them to continue school. If they are ready for High 
School next year then by all means insist that they go to High School next year. If 
they have the desire and ability to go to College, then send them to College. But for 
the good of our race encourage them to get an education. This is the tool that the white 
man uses to make life easier. This will be a benefit, not only for your children but for 
yourself in the long run. * 


It is bad not to know ycur own language. Indian boys and girls who cannot 
speak Indian are often ashamed. So, be sure to insist that your children speak and write 
Indian. Many boys or girls who go to college learn to speak French, German or other 
foreign language and it never does them much good. It is easy to learn to speak two or 
three different languages so do not allow your children to grow up without a know- 
ledge of their own tongue. We wish every child to learn to speak good English but also 
.want them to learn to speak Indian. Our language must be kept alive. 



This very active Homemakers Organization has 4 branches (Cornwall Island, (2) St, 
Regis r Snye) The following serve as presidents of the various branches, Mrs. Bella 
Seymour, Mrs. Clifford White, Mrs. Louise Benedict and Mrs. Richard Sunday. The 
above picture taken at Caughnawaga are four representatives of similar organizations 
frcm distant reservations. 



By Aren Akweks 

This story is about the St. Regis Mohawks, the People of 

It happened many snows back, many years ago. 

The Flint People lived along the banks of the Mohawk 
Fiver. Their country was forest covered. They lived in long 
bark houses. 

The Mohawks lived where New York State now is. They 
lived in what they thought was the center of the world which 
was in or on top of the center of a giant turtle's back (world 
rests on back of giant turtle.) Water flows in all directions 
from the top of a turtle shell. In Iroquois country rivers also 
flow north, south, east and west. 

The three main clans of the Mohawks were the Bear Clan, 
Turtle Clan and Wolf Clan. 

The chief Mohawk villages were located along the Mohawk 
Fiver. At the mouth of West Canada Creek was located 
Te-uge-ga. Near the outlet of Schoharie Creek was Sko-har-le. 
Near Little Falls was the town of Ta-la-que-ga. Near Cohoes 
was the town of Ga-ha-oose. There were many other Mo- 
hawk towns. The Mohawk River met the Hudson River and 
flowed south to the salt sea. 



There was good hunting in those days. The rivers swarmed 
with fish. Food animals and fur-bearing animals roamed thf 
forest. The sky was filled with birds. 

The eagle lives only where a free people live. There were, at 
that time, many eagles in the Mohawk country. Today, they, 
like the People of Flint, have vanished from the Mohawk 

There was plenty of meat on the meat smoking racks. 



i^~^ # 

The People of Flint raised great fields of corn, beans and 
squashes. Their gardens of Indian food plants covered many 


The sun shone in the hearts of the People of Flint. They 
were contented and well satisfied with that which the Great 
Spirit had given them. 

Two great men, Deganawida and Hayowentha (Hiawatha) 
had great inspiration. They wanted to stop all fighting and 
bloodshed between Indian nations. They asked the Creator 
to guide them in their great task. 

In their hands they grasped and planted the Tree of Peace. 
They spoke at many councils of the - - - 

(left to right) People of the Great Mountain (Senecas.), 
People of the Mucklands (Cayugas), People of the Hills (On- 
ondages), People of the Upright Stone (Oneidas) and People 
of Flint (Mohawks), who, though brothers, were making war 
upon each other. 

Everywhere there was war. 

These two wise men, Deganawida and Hayowentha, said that 
needess, foolish wars brought only death, sorrow and star- 

For five years these two wise men talked strong for an 
everlasting peace among the Iroquois People and their 

Finally the men of the Five Nations began to listen and 
to think of the words of the two prophets. They began to 
talk of a lasting peace among themselves. 

At Onondaga the Five Nations had a great council. They 
made peace and smoked the Pipe of Friendship. The in- 
fluence of this great peace was great. The smoke from the 
sacred pipe was seen from afar. 

They were as one, the five brothers 
Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca. 


Mohawk, Oneida, 


Z* S Ss 


They wove a sacred wampum belt, the belt of peace. The 
design represents a chain of four links with a white tree 
or heart in the center. If one link breaks, the chain will 
weaken and fall apart, therefore the Five Nations must wipe 
away any rust that might grow upon one of the links or 
nations. The chain must be kept strong and clean. 

They buried all weapons of war. Over the buried weapons 
they planted the Tree of Peace so that the weapons could 
not be dug up and used again. 

Now the five arrows (of the Five Nations) were going in 
one direction against a common enemy. 

They compared their league or government to a long 
house. The Mohawks were the Keepers of the Eastern Door 
of the Long House. The Senecas were the Keepers of the 
Western Door of the Long House. The Onondagas, in the 
center, were Keepers of the Council Fire (Capitol) of the 

But a cloud of darkness was to come to the Ho-de-no-sau-ne, 
the People of the Long House. 

Came the white man from across the great salt waters to 
the east, the French and the English. These two invaders 
desired furs and eventually the lands of the Five Nations. 
Both gave the Iroquois guns, tomahawks and firewater for 
beaver skins. Though these two held out one hand in pre- 
tended friendship, their other hand held a rattlesnake whose 
bite was poison and death. 

Both the French and English, being jealous of the fur, trade 
and desiring the whole of it, talked the various Indian Na- 
tions near their settlements into making war against their 
rivals and those Indians who brought furs to their rivals. 

Most of the Iroquois sided with the English. They easily 
defeated the French and their Indian allies. The French tried 
to wean the Iroquois away from their friendship with the 
Eng/ish. Black Robes (Jesuits) from Canada went among 
the Iroquois and especially among the Mohawks. They told 
them about Christianity and tried to get them to migrate 
to Canada. 


„ Many listened to the Black Robes. Their footsteps headed 


<s ' 

> < 

They founded a new reservation on the St. Lawrence River. 
This they named Caughnawaga. Many of the Iroquois left 
their villages and went to live at Caughnawaga. On the other 
side of the river, across from Caughnawaga was the French 
town of Montreal. Most of the Indians who settled at Caugh- 
nawaga were Mohawks but there were a/so Oneidas, On- 
ondagas, Cayugas and Senecas. 

More wars among the white men followed. Both the English 
and the French urged the Indian people who lived near 
them to fight what they then called, "Our common enemy." 

Forgotten were the words of the two wise prophets, Degan- 
awida and Hiawatha. Now we find Iroquois from Caugh- 
nawaga fighting against Iroquois who lived to the south of 
them, blood against blood, clan against c/an, Mohawk against 

The result was that many were killed. 

After the war the Caughnawagas were moved many times 
but still across the St. Lawrence River loomed the large town 
of Montreal. 

Traders from Montrea/ would cross the river and visit the 
Indian town. With them they brought along, with their vice, 
fire-water. This made the Mohawks crazy and the Evil Spirit 
possessed them. 

In vain the Black Robes tried to stem the evil influence from 
across the river. Many times they moved the Indian people 
to get away from this evil. Strange diseases such as small- 
pox, measles and whooping cough began to appear among 
the Indian people. 

Many were sick and many died. The hearts of those who 
were Aeft were filled with a dark cloud (fear and sorrow). 


Their old men said that they must get away from this evil 
from across the river. Their Jesuit Fathers agreed with them. 

Many of them packed their goods on their backs and headed 
up the St. Lawrence River. 

Far up the St. Lawrence River they found a beautiful spot. 
Many smaller rivers entered the St. Lawrence River near 
this place. The soil was fertile. There was good hunting and 
fishing. But above all they were alone without any harm 
from outside influence. They erected a church on a beautiful 
point of land that extended into the river. Around their 
church they built their cabins. 

They called their new home, Akwesasne, or the Place Where 
the Partridge Drums. 




HIDDEN VOICE: In the wooded lands of the Mohawk Valley lived the People of 
the Flint, the Ga-nien-ge-a-ga, later known to the white people as the Mohawks. They 
were a people of a country where forests still stood in majestic beauty. They camped 
on banks of rivers which were still clean, pure and in whose pools dwelt many fish. Be- 
side their villages there were large, well tilled gardens in which grew the corn, bean 
and squash plants, foods unknown to the first white settlers. Thus they lived by till- 
ing the soil, by fishing and by hunting as a primitive people must. 

The first white men called them savages. They would have all people believe that 
they were as wild beasts, that they spent their time roaming the woods seeking some- 
one to kill or to capture in order to torture ilk some devilish ceremony. Was this true? 
No ! Life to them was a constant struggle to get a living from the forest, rivers and 
fields. They had to be busy. They had little time for w|ar. More than this the Mo- 
hawks were members of the great Five Nations Confederacy called by them, the Ho- 
de-no-sau-ne or the League of the Long House, a great Peace League whose purpose 
was to abolish war and to spread peace and love among all nations. They were led in 
the forming of this government by two great men or prophets, Dekanawidah and 

(Tribe sits in council. Hiawatha and Dehanawidah stand before them.) 
Hiawatha as spokesman gives the speech of Dekanawidah. The group dance. After the 
first time around, the cast divide up and go to their respective places. Half of the 
people go to one side, half to the other. A young man walks to the center, turns to the 
back of the stage, goes slowly up the "hill" at the back of the stage, raises his armsi 
and stands motionless while all the people watch. 

HIDDEN VOICE: (While the dance is going on or after)— Thus all peace be estab- 
lished. Whether in peace or in war, the Mohawks remembered the Great Spirit. The 
boy, growing up into manhood, remembered the teachings of the old people and went 
up to the mountain alone to pray to Hawenio, the Great Spirit, for a message to carry 
back to his people. Having done this he would be regarded as a man. (.Yloung man\ 
comes slowly back to the council.) Here he is met by the old warriors who dance 
arm in arm with him as they go around. The people rise and follow. Once around 
they go out either door or off the council ground. The young man walks around alone. 
(Enters a maiden.) They walk slowly around the center where they stand, facing each 
other, arms extended. The tribe enters. The Clan Mother of the girl's clan and the 
Clan Mother of the boy's clan walk and stand behind each of their charges, the boy 
and maiden. They walk slowly around in turn, make speeches praising their charges 
before the council and advising the boy and the girl of their duties as a good husband\ 
and wife. The girl ties the braids of her hair behind the head of the boy. T|he Medicine 
Man steps forward and placing his hands on each of their heads pronounces them 
man and wife and tells them to live with the blessings of the tribe upon them. Thet, 
tribe dances to celebrate and the married couple follow. 

HIDDEN VOICE: Thus in the dusk of a warm evening beside the rippling stream, 
the maid and the warrior meet to share with each other the thoughts of love. The 
tribe approves and rejoices. The marriage has taken place. The warrior is a good 
provider and is skillful in the hunt. (Hunting Dance by the warriors.) 

HIDDEN VOICE: The white man found the Mohawks living thus. When the 
European came to these shores he was welcomed and fed by the early Mohawks. 
The Dutch and later the English were met in peace. They were given food, rich furs 
and a place to spread their blankets by the People of Flint. In return foir these gifts 
the Mohawks were given guns, knives and rum. 



Captan Miss Susan Square 
Assistant Captain - Miss Helen Francis 


11 v 



.. ....... mmmh 

(A white man enters from one side. His arm is raised in friendly greeting. He carries 
a sack from which he takes steel tomahawks, knives, guns and a bottle. He gives them 
tc the Mohawks. The Indians give him skins of fur bearing animals. The trader takes 
the skins and leaves. Another trader arrives and does the same. The first trader comes 
back and speaks to the Mohawk Council.) 

FIRST TRADER: Brothers, you have been my friends. I have been your guest in 
your homes and have sat at your councils. I have given you many things, knives that 
are stronger and sharper than your flint ones, guns that have the power of lightning 
in them and a strong medicine water that makes you happy and strong like the fire 
from which it is made. These things show that I am your friend. 

But the English are not well pleased! You have started to trade with the French, 
the enemy of our people. He is treacherous an»d speaks with two tonguesf. He seeks 
to harm you. Far over the sea, his people and my people are at war. In this country 
his people seek to destroy my people and yours. 

Do you not remember when you first saw him in this country? He used his gun 
to help your ancient enemy, the Algonquins, in their wars against you. Now he wants 
your friendship so that he may deceive you and have you destroyed. Do not listen 
to him, my brothers. (Low sounds of approval - - Ho! Ho! exit, the English trader.) 

(Frenchman enters with missionary. They look around.) 

FRENCH TRADER: Brothers, I see that my enemy, the Englishman, has been 
here with his pack of lies. This makes me sad for I know that there is no truth in his 
words.. Remember him when he first came to you? He was asj helpless as a baby in 
the forests. You gave him food, else he would have starved. He had fled from his own 
country because he had quarreled with his priests and chiefs. You gave him a place 
to spread his blanket but he was not satisfied. He has already spread other blankets. 
Look at the sad fate of the Indian nations to the east of you. The Narragansetts, 
Wampanoags, Pequots and others have lost their country because of his greed for their 
lands. They too sheltered and welcomed him when he was a stranger in their country. 
Soon there will be no more room in your bark house for you or your family. He will have 
decided you. 



Have we, the French, treated you like that? Have we not traded honestly with 
you? Have we not been your guests on long canoe trips? Have we taken your lands 
from you? Have not our priests taught you the true Christian faith? Now our Father 
Fremin must leave you because of the persecution from the unfaithful English. Those 
of you who wish to go with him to Montreal should go now. You may settle close to 
us there where we may protect you from your brothers. The French will find you 
very useful there, (exit priest, trader and converts, other Indians leave other entrance) 
HIDDEN VOICE: The Christian Mohawks traveled to the St. Lawrence River op- 
posite Montreal. They settled at Laprairie. Later when the French wanted Laprairie 
they moved a short distance to Caughnawaga, Then great fighting took place in the 
Mohawk Valley. White men on both sides used the Indians to fight for them. The 
Indians knew not which way to turn and the once strong League of the Five Nations 
was divided in their opinion as to which side was in the right, the French or the Eng- 
lish. Indians were fighting against Indians. Scalping became a business and the life of 
the Indian became one of tradegy. 

(Scalp Dance followed by Knife Dance) 

(Knife Dance-Two Indians come out dancing together. They are friends and in the 
dance they hunt together, etc. Suddenly a white man appears on each side of the dance 
ground. One is a Frnchman and the other is an Englishman. Each holds in his hand 
a whiskey bottle and a gun. In the dance the two Indians after approach- 
ing each of the two white men, disagree and quarrel. They separate in anger and 
dance in different directions. They dance to the different traders. Each one is given 
a whiskey bottle and a gun. Finally they sight each other and fight. One is killed 
and his scalp is taken. The victor stops dancing and looks down at his former friend. 
He is stunned. He looks at his knife with which he has just killed his forest friend. He 
hesitates, takes another drink from the whiskey bottle and gives a war cry. He does a 
victory dance around th dead body. Dancing with the scalp of the fallen Indian he goes 
to the trader who takes the scalp and gives him gold coins, dropping them one at a 
time into his hands. He goes back to his fallen companion, tries to take another drink 
but discovers that there is no more whiskey in the bottle, throws the bottle away, looks 
at the money and throws it away. Quietly he sits beside his fallen friend with head 
down as if in mourning over his body. 



HIDDEN VOICE: This is Caughnawaga. Across the river and down stream is the 
town of Montreal. The war is now over and once again there is peace between the 
Indians and the whites. Again they make their living by trapping, fishing and farm- 
ing. But their troubles are not over. Here the French Canadian wood runners or trap- 
pers and traders come to sell rum and buy furs. (People now engaged in many things*, 
making baskets, cooking, etc. Most wear a combination of Indian and white garb, 
shawls for the women, most of the women now v/ear cloth garments instead of buck- 
skin, perhaps cooking tripod at corner with iron kettle. There are only one or two men) 

Then comes a shout and men enter with packs of furs. They take off their packs 
and the people gather around to see the furs. 

Two or three traders come in with sacks of bottles. They give out bottles and cloth, 
etc. They take furs and leave, but one remains with a bottle. He gives it to one Indian. 
Another Indian tries to take the bottle and the two struggle and fight over the fire 
water. The trader looks on and laughs. He turns to a girl and offers her a drink from 
another bottle. He puts his arms around her waist and leads her towards the entrance. 
The people are watching; the fighters suddenly stop; they look up and then at the 
trader. They both grab the trader and throw him out. 

(An old man calls a council) 

OLD MAN: My children, we cannot stay here any longer. These white traders are no 
good for our people. They come to rob, cheat and corrupt us. We cannot long continue 
to stand these insults. Many times we have moved our village, hoping that at our new 
home we would not be bothered. Our Fathers, the Jesuits, have tried many times to 
make the whites across the river leave us alorje but all in vain. They continue to 
smuggle fire water across the river and with it they burn out our souls. Now we must 
leave this country entirely and seek a new home. 

Surely no one can say that we are unfaithful. We have stayed here these many 
years to protect the church and its priests from the raids of the English and later the 
Americans and their Indian allies who are our brothers. We have fought for the life 
of the church and have lost our own. We have sought to keep the church pure and 
uncorrupted. Yet we have allowed ourselves to be corrupted. We shall soon become a 
race of drunkards. We shall forget the teachings of our fathers. 

Far up the river there is a place where many of our forefathers are buried. That 
place is called Akwesasne, the Place where the Partridge Drums. There are many pure 
rivers there and in them there are many fish. There are also many large islands where 
we may be alone and unmolested. The soil is very fertile and corn grows well there. 
There is much game. Those who wish to follow me there may come with me now. 
(shouts of Ho! Ho! Some go out with the old mart) 

HIDDEN VOICE: This is Akwesasne, the Place Where the Partridge Drums or the 
St. Regis Reservation to the white men. As a symbol of our reservation we dance the 
Partridge Dance, (Explanation and Dance of the Partridge) 

HIDDEN VOICE: This is the home of the St. Regis Mohawks. The tribe, as a group, 
wanders no more. Some of our people travel to the ends of the earth, yet they return, 
for here is their home. Many Indians from other tribes, being forced to wander away 
from their homes have been welcomed here for this was once a new reservation and 
there was then plenty of room to build a home. 



"Happy Helpers" and "Mohawk Morning Glories" 

Youth Presidents - Phyllis Brown and Shirley Jock 

Managers - Mrs. Jean Spencer, Miss Ruth Burkett 

and Mrs. Miriam Osier 

Project of Akwesasne Mohawk Counselor Organization 
Sponsor - Mrs. Eli Lazore 


THESE ILLUSTRATED PAMPHLETS — dealing on the history, 
culture and legends of the Ho-de-no-sau-ne or Six Nations Iro- 
quois Confederacy, haVe been collected and written by Aren Akweks 

(Ray Fadden). 


The future of our young Indian children depends upon the kind 
of history taught today. Our forefathers fought for their way of life. 
Our young warriors have died on battlefields all over the world in the 
interests of the American Way of Life. This Way of Life originated 
in this country and you may trace its birth in the history and culture 
of our. ancestors, the North American Indians. The now complete Iro- 
quois Life History series offers potent help in training young people 
in early American History. The collection of Indian history pamphlets 
paints a strong and educational picture of Indian life, a picture that will 
create pride, interest, respect and reverence for- the principles of free- 
dom and justice for which the old Indian stood. 

Migration of eke Iroquois Nation 10$ 

History of the Tuscarora Indians 25$ 

Story of the Monster Bear, the Great Difaer 10$ 

League of the Five Nations 35$ 

Legend — Why We Have Mosquitoes 10$ 

Legend — The Great Gift, Tobacco 10$ 

Legend— The Seven Dancers 10$ 

Sa-ko m ri-on~nie-ni, Our Great Teacher 35$ 

The Gift of the Great Spirit 15$ 

The Creation, a Legend 15$ 
History of the St, Regis Akwesasne Mohawks 50$ 

Wampum Belts and their meanings 25$ 

Conservation, as the Indian saw it 10$ 

Legend, The Hermit Thrush 15c 

Collection of Mohawk Legends 15<t 

Thunder Boy, a Legend 15c 

Costume of Iroquois 25c 

Cultural Areas of North American Indians 20c 

Ma{* Heritage of the Iroquois 10c 

Six Nations Honor Roll, World War II 10c 

Diagram of Iroquois Government 10c 

Key to Indian Pictografihs 
Akwesasne Club Band Laws 
Legend, The Fierce Beast